Results 1 to 25 of 25

Thread: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Louisville KY
    Posts
    8

    Default Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    For ease and speed of building and for the value and space they provide I am thinking of building a sailing dory. There are a few designs I have looked at but the one which has piqued my interest most is Paul Fisher's Lark Dory. http://www.selway-fisher.com/DoubleEs.htm#LARK It has a removable cabin top, as well as an easy to launch sail plan and two water ballast tanks to take on 300 pounds of water. It seems to be a lot of boat for the size and materials. I would estimate about 2500-3000 for the build, with meranti ply and eastern white pine for longitudinals.

    The other possible designs are Sam Devlin's Sea Swift https://www.devlinboat.com/2015/12/sea-swift/ and Spira International's Alaskan Grand Banks Dory http://www.spirainternational.com/hp_alas.php. I love the sail plan on the Sea Swift and may try to do something like it on the Lark Dory.

    I currently have a GP14 that I day sail but want something with a bit more room and comfort for my wife and the dog and possibly another couple, for longer day sails. The ease of sailing the Lark Dory with it's self-tacking sail plan would also take a lot of the stress out of sailing compared to a one-design. It would also be nice to have the option to motor, which the lark and spira both have wells built in to the design and it would be fairly easy to adapt one to the Sea Swift. Currently I sail on the Ohio River but I wouldn't want to necessarily have to get a new boat if I moved to different waters. Anyone have any opinions on these designs? I know dories can be a bit contentious...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    530

    Default Re: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    Have you also looked at CLC's Southwester Dory? I don't much about them or dories in general but I saw one at the TSCA workshop at Mystic during the Woodenboat show. Absolutely stunning boat which I believe was built by the head of the TSCA. The build time from plans might be longer than the ones you mention due the lap stitch construction. CLC's plans are top notch.

    http://www.clcboats.com/shop/boats/w...ster-dory.html

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Louisville KY
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    The southwester also came across my radar. It would probably be as quick as the others if I went for the kit. It doesn't have the freeboard that the others have, however, but does have a lot of the features (buoyancy tank/side seating, motor well) that the Lark Dory has.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    I like Paul Fisher's designs, and the Lark Dory appears to be a realistic project for the home craftsman. It is heavy enough to leave on a mooring when that is convenient and light enough to tow behind most vehicles. The removable cuddy is a nice feature. Best of luck with your project - John

  5. #5

    Default Re: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    Btw, a ballasted dory, like the Lark, is much more stable than an unballested dory - John

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Louisville KY
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    Thanks John, yes I was thinking the same, which is why I was leaning more towards the Lark Dory than the other open dories. I will be keeping this at a club where I could either hoist in or back in a trailer, but even with the ballast it should be well under the 1 ton limit of the hoists.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,227

    Default Re: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    I'm a little "eh" on the Southwester Dory. There is not a lot of internal volume, (especially with the outboard well). The Lark and the Sea Swift are big volume dories, the SW Dory is in a different, smaller class. You'd be crowding up quick in there with four adults.

    Clint Chase Deblois Street Dory is a very fine interpretation of the Swampscott type, also in a kit, and fast, but again, smaller in volume than the Lark or Sea Swift. (larger than the SW Dory).

    That's a stunning pic of the Sea Swift, very romantic. I think it was on the cover of SCA one month.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    21,756

    Default Re: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    The only dories I've sailed that sailed well were Swampscott dories, and there you lose part of the ease of build. I'd check out small sharpies.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Sound Beach, NY
    Posts
    3,156

    Default Re: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    I have found that a modest amount of ballast makes a noticeable difference in modest boats.
    My current daysailer is a 17' Dion Swampscott. Great secondary stability, my weight on the floorboards aft is balanced by about 30# all the way forward. My last sailing dory was much bigger, 18'8"x6'6". Glued lap ply, she was pretty light, a little tippy in spite of her relatively wide bottom. A shot bag and a couple of exercise weights, maybe 40# altogether, made a difference.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    I've had a copy of the Sea Swift plans on the shelf for years. There's a lot to like and a little missing. The plans are fairly clear. The boat appears to use only seven sheets of 1/2" ply. The "little missing" is any mention of reefing or other reduction in the rig. I think this can be easily remedied by one or all of three ways: 1. reef points, 2. drop the sprit for a massive (if sloppy) reduction and 3. add a mast step in the forward rowing thwart to use one sail. Pete Culler (in "Skiffs and Schooners"), has a good description of how to use this rig. I also wish that there was a little more flotation, as the fore and aft seats are the only place for it and the foreseat has a mast in it. I think maybe a bag or roller under the two center thwarts would be a good solution. There are three rowing positions (I assume for two rowers to choose from). I think the boat would weigh about 350-400 pounds, rigged. The use of material (especially the plywood), seems to be very efficient. From the safety of my armchair, I think Sea Swift would build quickly. One note: I believe that the classic grand Banks dory shape has been tweaked a little, back aft. The bottom tapers differently and the flare of the sides is increased, presumably to bring more hull to bear as the boat heels.. I would love to see how one sails, but the only example I've seen any mention of of has a different rig. I know many on here disapprove of Grand banks as sailors, but I think this one would do okay.

    Hope this helps.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Duncan, Vancouver Island
    Posts
    26,450

    Default Re: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    Something tells me the Jeff Spira design is a sailboat as an afterthought and would certainly live up to the description as a 'lively' - ahem - sailer. I like the Paul Fisher offering, in the 7' beam version. The daggerboard on the outside would give you a very nice open interior space despite being more efficient on one tack than the other.

    There is no rational, logical, or physical description of how free will could exist. It therefore makes no sense to praise or condemn anyone on the grounds they are a free willed self that made one choice but could have chosen something else. There is no evidence that such a situation is possible in our Universe. Demonstrate otherwise and I will be thrilled.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Louisville KY
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    JimD, yes the Spira design only came up once I attempted to search the forum for sailing dory opinions. It would certainly be a fast boat to build! I thought about the 7' beam version as well. The study plans don't include a lines drawing of it, but I assume it doesn't make it anymore difficult. It would take a fairly narrow boat for its length and make it a pretty large one, however... I would assume that the extra beam would add to its initial stability. I wonder if the widened version could carry more sail area? I've sent Paul an email but haven't heard back yet.

    Callsign222, I almost said the same thing, part of the reasoning for the larger Lark and Sea Swift are the 'feeling' one gets from the high freeboard and internal volume that would make my wife and possible guests more comfortable.

    JohnW, I've looked at sharpies, and while they would be of relative ease to construct, I feel that they do not provide the internal volume and thus the 'feel' of safety that the dory shape provides. I would like something that doesn't feel unsafe while not under power if you know what I mean. Something of a bit more substance is how I would put it. However, if I were to go that route I think something like these could be built quite quickly and inexpensively: https://bateau.com/studyplans/CK17_study.php?prod=CK17 http://www.selway-fisher.com/SharpieDory.htm#AKE. When you say 'sail well' what about the other dories was poor? Devlin says that dory's 'sail on their ears' which I take to mean they can't be sailed flat? I wonder if the widened Lark would sail a bit more flat...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Louisville KY
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    Jim, I was also thinking of making two leeboards. I'm not enthralled with the way they are attached following the flare of the sides either. Perhaps an offset pivot ala the sea pearl...

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    North Shore, Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,360

    Default Re: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    Clint's D Street is about the sweetest set of lines I've seen for a modern dory design, she's a wholesome full bodied medium-large Swampscott.

    for banks dories I'm a fan of the 1880 model Higgins and Gifford lines in Chapell small sailing Craft, thousands of these boats were built and they sail well with a small sprit rig off/across the wind and row nicely to windward.

    then there's this monster Banks dory 20' that I'm sailing at the moment, plans from John Gardners Traditional Boats to Build and Use. Centennial.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Central Vermont
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    FYI - Louis in the Tips from a Shipwright has just started a new series on designing and building a sailing/rowing dory. Might be worth checking out. Sponsored by Jamestown Distributors. Video on the Jamestown website.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Louisville KY
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    Mike,

    I've been watching them as they come out! I'm sure it will be a fantastic boat. Daniel, that's a beautiful dory. I think I read about it somewhere, you built it on the anniversary of the Danish fellow? Thanks all!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    10,267

    Default Re: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    I hate to make this comment but, in the interest of saving one or more of you from disappointment, I feel I must! The Glocester stack dories were designed to do just that, stack inside of one another and be lashed down on the decks of Blue Nose Schooners such as were used for eons on the east coast of the US, Canada and in Nova Scotia. They worked fine for fishing and the mother ship was usually anchored on the banks down wind from the fleet. This made it easy for them to sail down wind to be hauled aboard at the end of the day. The wall sides of this design are not a shape of stability. The boats roll miserably when not loaded down with ballast,cargo or fish. Their slab sides create windage and are miserable in a chop if running the boat to weather! The lack of reserve stability of hull form makes a banks dory an uncomfortable hull to sail, especially to weather.

    I once designed a dory for an old Cape Horn Swede, John Pearson who was the rigger who tought me to learn his trade. John wanted to cruise down the coast of Baja California and go ashore for camping at night.
    He was a tough Swede but, only lasted to Turtle Bay and gave up as the boat was not all that fun to work at sea!

    I can honestly say this because I once owned one that I had fitted out for cruising the Channel Isalands of Southern California. "Gus" was 18' over all and was a true Glouster stack dory. I added a center board and rudder as well as a sailing rig that incorporated a jib and Marconi main sail. The rudder was of little use as the boat could be steered by sifting my weight. That boat sailed well enough off wind but was nearly imposible to tack without resorting to oar power. I cruised the boat for a month amongst three of the Channel Islands and had a grand time sleeping under the stars with the canvas shelter I had rigged for the boat. But it was and experience I did not care to repeat and I sold "Gus" to the life guard chief of Carpenteria. He soon came to the same conclusion as I did after a cruise to Santo Rosa Isl. The conclusion that both us made is: While the Banks Dory form is simple to build, it is better off being used as a utility boat for fishing rather than a small cruising vessel! There are many hull designs that can be put to use for cruising, or family day outings and sails. Those of you who wish to do this would be wise to avoid the choice of the Grand Banks Dory hull form.
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 09-06-2017 at 08:06 PM.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    North Shore, Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,360

    Default Re: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    I hate to make this comment but, in the interest of saving one or more of you from disappointment, I feel I must! The Glocester stack dories were designed to do just that, stack inside of one another and be lashed down on the decks of Blue Nose Schooners such as were used for eons on the east coast of the US, Canada and in Nova Scotia. They worked fine for fishing and the mother ship was usually anchored on the banks down wind from the fleet. This made it easy for them to sail down wind to be hauled aboard at the end of the day. The wall sides of this design are not a shape of stability. The boats roll miserably when not loaded down with ballast,cargo or fish. Their slab sides create windage and are miserable in a chop if running the boat to weather! The lack of reserve stability of hull form makes a banks dory an uncomfortable hull to sail, especially to weather.

    I once designed a dory for an old Cape Horn Swede, John Pearson who was the rigger who tought be to learn his trade. John wanted to cruise down the coast of Baja California and go ashore for camping at night.
    He was a tough Swede but, only lasted to Turtle Bay and gave up as the boat was not all that fun to work at sea!

    I can honestly say this because I once owned one that I had fitted out for cruising the Channel Isalands of Southern California. "Gus" was 18' over all and was a true Glouster stack dory. I added a center board and rudder as well as a sailing rig that incorporated a jib and Marconi main sail. The rudder was of little use as the boat could be steered by sifting my weight. That boat sailed well enough off wind but was nearly imposible to tack without resorting to oar power. I cruised the boat for a month amongst three of the Channel Islands and had a grand time sleeping under the stars with the canvas shelter I had rigged for the boat. But it was and experience I did not care to repeat and I sold "Gus" to the life guard chief of Carpenteria. He soon came to the same conclusion as I did after a cruise to Santo Rosa Isl. The conclusion that both us made is: While the Banks Dory form is simple to build, it is better off being used as a utility boat for fishing rather than a small cruising vessel! There are many hull designs that can be put to use for cruising, or family day outings and sails. Those of you who wish to do this would be wise to avoid the choice of the Grand Banks Dory hull form.
    Jay
    always interesting to hear others experiences with small craft, I'm reserving judgement on Centennial for the time being, it seems to me she does some things incredibly well and is defficient in others, as any boat is a series of compromises.

    one of her uncomfortable characteristics is fairly low initial stability, not tippy like a canoe but once you shift your weight a little off the centerline she will ease over onto one side or the other, but she has HUGE reserve stability, meaning once the hull comes over it firms up and refuses to tip any further, so much so that standing high on the bow or transom is not an issue.


    Jay describes his boat as hard to tack and not needing rudder to steer, this says to me that she did not have enough weather helm. Centennial tacks reliably by simply letting go the tiller, shell come up and through the wind fairly quickly and reliably.

    Jay mentiones the windage, a huge issue when using oars.

    the positives seem to be a very seaworthy hull, very dry and an exceptionaly comfortable sail carrier with her rail down and sheets eased she will handle wind and wave with an easy motion... In fact I'm quite convinced Centennial can handle much more wind and wave than I.


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, Ca
    Posts
    17,120

    Default Re: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    Dories, excepting the Swampscott type were always a disappointment to me as far as sailing goes. As a low power, low speed power boat, they are as seaworthy as a seagull sitting on the surface between the swells...
    The Swampscott models with some power in the hull form to carry sail are great small sailing craft. It is not much more of a task to build one of that type. I would set my sights a little higher. but I, like others, have built a dory and tried to sail it!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    SF Bay Area- Richmond
    Posts
    15,169

    Default Re: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    I concur with my learned associates ;-) The Banks dory has an overblown reputation but should be considered more of a pickup truck than a racecar. I've owned both and can agree with how they are reported to handle. I sail a round-hull dory skiff and like the smooth progression when heeling under gusts of wind, but like all Sail & Oar™ boats she is narrow enough to take water over the rail when pressed.

    Some of the TSCA folks out here have a lovely Swampscott style double-ended dory and do a bit of offshore sailing with it, and report it handles very well under either oar or sail.

    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    North Shore, Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,360

    Default Re: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    over the decades I've become quite convinced that the dory is not a boat that amateur yachtsmen should "set their sights higher than" but infact a boat that they might one day hope to aspire to the basic understanding... never mind mastery of!

    Also fairweather sailors often make the mistake of attempting to tweak, alter and "improve" the dorie's design and rig. the Dory's simplicity and efficient construction belie it's development and evolution over 200 years in the hands of some of the most skilled mariners and seafareing folk the world has ever known.

    for many, including any of us posting here we have had mere hours days or months of actual sea time in these craft while their developers had years, generations of experience on the water day in and day out in some of the most brutal and trying conditions...

    in short these boats, like all boats have limitations, buty I am always very skeptical of first hand accounts about how someone had a dory... "improved" it and it "still sailed badly", unless a particular design is built to the original design I'm skeptical.

    it's much like an instrument maker saying " I built a copy of a Stradavarius, and even made improvements to the design and it still did not sound like I wanted it to"


  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Louisville KY
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    Daniel your boat is absolutely beautiful. I found a copy of Gardener's Wooden boats to build and use and ordered it today! It would appear you are making well to windward in the last few photos you posted, too. Was it built entirely traditionally? Do you have a build thread?

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    North Shore, Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,360

    Default Re: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    Quote Originally Posted by pgslaughter View Post
    Daniel your boat is absolutely beautiful. I found a copy of Gardener's Wooden boats to build and use and ordered it today! It would appear you are making well to windward in the last few photos you posted, too. Was it built entirely traditionally? Do you have a build thread?
    Launch / Sailing thread. http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...383-Centennial

    Build thread, though lots of the build photos have gone missing. http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...778-Centennial

    the original Centennial at Gloucester about 1880.

    Last edited by Daniel Noyes; 09-06-2017 at 10:13 PM.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Saco, ME
    Posts
    2,125

    Default Re: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Noyes View Post
    Clint's D Street is about the sweetest set of lines I've seen for a modern dory design, she's a wholesome full bodied medium-large Swampscott.
    Dan, thanks that means a lot coming from you!
    Clinton B. Chase
    Portland, Maine

    http://tinyurl.com/myboats

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    11,647

    Default Re: Sailing Dory, opinions on contemporary designs?

    I was disappointed by every single slab-sided boat I ever built. If you must stick with a dory, I also think Clint Chase's knuckle-sided Swampscott will be far more satisfying to you down the road than some over-simplified dory shape like that Spira one.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •